What basic sewing machine embroidery stitches can you find already on your machine? In some machines, these types of stitches are also known as decorative stitches. Most machines come with a series of these stitches, on my machine I'm fortunate to have many more than I thought.
I am the proud owner of a Bernina 350 patchwork Edition, a product that is no longer available as I just found out today as I am writing this post. Am I going to be buying a newer model? The tingle and excitement of a new sewing machine are beginning to brew in my mind. It has been two years since I got my Bernina 350, and I think the honeymoon is over.
But, do I really know my sewing machine? Today I took a random look at the stitching card and I realized I have never taken the time to see how the stitches look in real life. In fact, the protective plastic film was still attached to it, that's how little I've used it.
The film is still on the display screen as well, and frankly, I feel a little ashamed… How could I even think of getting a new machine if mine still has not even been unwrapped properly?
This reminds me of people in my country who drive their car for months with the factory plastic covers still stuck onto their seats so that the car will look just a little newer for a longer time. In my case, it is pure neglect. I have been very busy these the last two years.
So what basic sewing machine embroidery stitches are actually in my machine?
I found a total of 85 basic sewing machine embroidery stitches. Some of them are so beautiful my mind started racing to come up with many different ways to use them.
Fabric borders are perhaps the best way to use this stitches.
Repeating a pattern in rows can even change the texture and look of a fabric creating a unique fabric print.
Here I've done them on a contrasting color so you can see the different basic sewing machine embroidery stitches this Bernina has.
I have to say I am surprised that this little machine has so many stitches, the possibilities are endless.
The question now is: Do I really need a new sewing machine?
No, I do not need another sewing machine, (sadly..) This Bernina has everything I need from a basic sewing machine. Sure the embroidery stitches cannot be made bigger, but for making borders and decorations they are perfect. I am still amazed that after so many years of sewing, and so many machines later, that this is the first time that I've really explored this function fully on my machine. Have you checked yours yet?
New to sewing? Please check the most basic sewing stitches here.
Join me next time when we'll be exploring the subject a bit further, combining stitches and other materials to make borders for your fabric.
In the comments below, let me know how many stitches can you find on your sewing machine and if you have had a chance to use them. Until next time, Happy Sewing!
I got my Juki HZL f300 a little over a year ago. It has 106 decorative stitches and 3 fonts. When I first got ‘Hazel’ I tried out all the stitches/fonts to see how easy/difficult it was – it was really easy. Then I rarely used any of them until recently. I’ve started to quilt and some of the stitches are great for quilting so I’m using more decor stitches. Thanks for the reminder to use more of what our machines already have.
I have 2 antique machines, 2 vintage ones, and 2 modern computeritzed ones. The modern ones probably won’t be working in around 15 years or so, due to the computerization, but the older ones will continue to sew for, basically, forever as long as they’re taken care of.
Indeed! I feel the same about my machines, I am yet to get my hands on a hand weel one. I am hoping to find a working one and use it to sew to see how hard it is. Great collection of sewing machines!
Thanks. I needed that reminder. I purchased a new machine and should not have as the assumed buyer of my old one backed out. Now I have two rather expensive Viking embroidery machines and have to spend quite a bit of time learning the new one when really I dearly loved my old one. Silly me.
Hi CLAIRE, there are Facebook groups in your area that you could join to sell your machine, there is always someone interested in good sewing machines regardless of their age.
Hi! This article hits home for me. I was lucky enough to upgrade about a year ago to a Brother Dream Machine II and I love her!! She’s called Constance. Like one person said above, I’m using some decorative stitches on the seams of a flannel quilt I’m making my brother and his wife for Christmas. I figured this would help with any possible fraying and I’m terrible at stitch in the ditch. Constance has so many stitches that some days I just enjoy sitting and putting them on fabric since they look different than they do on the screen. I can change the size on these stitches and you gave me the idea that I’m going to use some of these stitches on some boring white curtains I have in my living room as a border!! I love your site and the help you give me. Have a Merry Christmas!!!
It is my pleasure Kathie, looks like you and Constance are a match made in heaven. Hope you have many many years together in this creative journey. Have a lovely Christmas!
I am making new stockings this year that are patchwork and I am using the decorative stitches on the seams of the patchwork. I love how the stiches add so much.
Did I need the new Bernina 880 plus I bought earlier this year? No, I did not. But I love my new machine. I will embroidery our names on our stockings. I also have the Bernina 335, a newer version of your 350 and I am amazed at the number of stiches it has. Enjoy your machine and learn it well! Play with all of those stitches.
I have not seen the 335 yet in person, But looks fantastic!.
Depends on which machine. On my wonderful, best-ever, will-never-give-up Kenmore (purchased in 1973), I have 50 decorative stitches plus a mongrammer. On my terribly expensive, 14-year-old Brother embroidery/sewing machine I have hundreds of decorative & heirloom stitches built in and I the number I can create is really unlimited; as well as lettering. For me, sewing machines are like cars. The longer they last, the better. I know with these two machines, I will really never tap their full potential of either one.
Indeed, it seems that the old machine gave more for the buck and are still running. I dislike this disposable tech world. I rather have something that I can get to know with time and never change, discovering different things according to my needs and creativity.
I love the decorative stitches on my machine but I do have a problem in keeping them going straight. Any tips on how to keep them straight?
Hi Bev, I use an erasable fabric pen to make a line so I can stay on track, I agree it is difficult to keep the stitching straight. However, it is well worth the time to make the line.
FYI: I use a line of painters tape (the blue stuff) or masking tape to mark a straight line.